2000-C24 - Publications du gouvernement du Canada

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la collecte des échantillons. Afin de déterminer l'effet du temps d'entreposage sur le pH des échantillons de sol, on a analysé des échantillons de sol le jour de ...

Geological Survey of Canada

Current Research 2000-C24

Some observations on the effects of length of sample storage, sample type, and sample depth on the determination of pH in soils collected in the vicinity of the Horne smelter at Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec R.D. Knight, M. LaPointe, T. Kyer, and P.J. Henderson

2000

©Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2000 Catalogue No. M44-2000/C24E-IN ISBN 0-660-18043-X

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Authors’ addresses R.D. Knight ([email protected]) P.J. Henderson ([email protected]) Terrain Sciences Division Geological Survey of Canada 601 Booth Street Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E8 M. LaPointe Department of Geography Carleton University Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6 T. Kyer St. Pauls Catholic High School 411 Seyton Drive Nepean, Ontario K2H 8X1

Some observations on the effects of length of sample storage, sample type, and sample depth on the determination of pH in soils collected in the vicinity of the Horne smelter at Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec1 R.D. Knight, M. LaPointe, T. Kyer, and P.J. Henderson Terrain Sciences Division, Ottawa

Knight, R.D., LaPointe, M., Kyer, T., and Henderson, P.J., 2000: Some observations on the effects of length of sample storage, sample type, and sample depth on the determination of pH in soils collected in the vicinity of the Horne smelter at Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec; Geological Survey of Canada, Current Research 2000-C24; 7 p. (online; http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/gsc/bookstore)

Abstract: As a routine part of laboratory practice, soil pH is commonly measured several months after sample collection. To determine the effect of sample storage time on soil pH, samples were analyzed the same day as collection, and in the laboratory at one, two, and six months after collection. The samples were collected as part of the Metals in the Environment (MITE) research at Rouyn–Noranda, Quebec. The pH of A-, B-, or C-horizon soils did not change with storage time, although the pH of humus was less acidic by 0.65 six months after collection. The pH of humus and A-horizon soils collected from sites underlain by clay are less acidic than sites underlain by till, whereas B- and C-horizon samples have a similar pH for samples underlain by clay or till. In general soils become less acidic with depth.

Résumé : Communément, dans la pratique de laboratoire, on mesure le pH des sols plusieurs mois après la collecte des échantillons. Afin de déterminer l’effet du temps d’entreposage sur le pH des échantillons de sol, on a analysé des échantillons de sol le jour de la collecte, puis au laboratoire à des intervalles de un, deux et six mois après la collecte des échantillons. Les échantillons avaient été recueillis à Rouyn-Noranda (Québec) dans le cadre de la recherche sur les métaux dans l’environnement (MEDE). Le pH des horizons A, B ou C des sols n’a pas varié avec le temps, mais le pH de l’humus était devenu de 0,65 unités de pH moins acide six mois après la collecte. Le pH de l’humus et des échantillons d’horizons A de sol recueillis à des sites dont le sous-sol est constitué d’argile, est moins acide que celui des échantillons provenant de sites dont le sous-sol est constitué de till. La composition du matériau sous-jacent n’influence pas le pH des échantillons des horizons B et C. En général, les sols deviennent moins acides à mesure que la profondeur augmente.

1

Contribution to the Metals in the Environment Program

1

Current Research 2000-C24

INTRODUCTION Regional soil samples were collected at 87 sites within a radius of 100 km from the Horne Cu-Zn smelter located at Rouyn–Noranda, Quebec (Fig. 1) as part of the Metals in the Environment (MITE) – Point Sources Program. The soil samples were collected to determine the regional extent of metal loading from the smelter. Soil pH is one of the variables considered to effect concentration and mobilization of trace metals. In past projects, pH was determined in the laboratory up to six months or longer after sample collection. The purpose of this study is to determine if sample storage has a significant effect on pH measurements. In order to determine if variation in pH occurs during long-term storage, a suite of samples were analyzed in the field and in the laboratory at one, two, and six months after collection. A comparison of pH measurements with respect to depth and type of parent material was also investigated in order to determine any variations in pH between humus and mineral soils formed on till or sandy sediment, and those formed on lacustrine silt and clay. Samples used in this study consist of humus, A-horizon, B-horizon, and C-horizon soils collected from podzolic soils Table 1. Number of samples and subsamples collected from the humus and mineral soils.

developed on till or sandy sediment, and from poorly developed luvisolic soils formed on lacustrine silt and clay. The number of samples and subsamples from each soil horizon are listed in Table 1.

METHODS During regional humus and mineral soil collection, a subsample was separated and stored in an ice-packed cooler to avoid high temperatures inside a vehicle on hot summer days. Humus was collected after the litterfall was removed from the sample site. Soils with an A-horizon are not common in the area and where they do occur, they are thin (0.5–2.0 cm). Samples of B-horizon soils were collected from 20–25 cm below the top surface of the humus. C-horizon samples were collected at a depth of about 1 m and often represent the parent material. For long-term storage the original sample was put in a plastic bag sealed with elastic bands and placed in a metal pail. The pails were stored outside for up to one month before being transferred to a basement storage room at the Geological Survey of Canada.

Table 2. Specifications of the Omega PHH-7X pH pen (taken from instructions sheet supplied with instrument).

Day of collection

1 month

2 6 months months

Humus

80

5

24

80

Resolution

0.01 pH

A-horizon

24

1

9

24

Accuracy @20°C

B-horizon

85

6

28

85

Typical EMC deviation

±0.2 pH ±0.1 pH

C-horizon

90

7

27

90

Calibration

Manual 2 points

Electrode

Combination pH electrode

Environment

0° - 50° , 95% RH

Range

0.00 – 14.00 pH

Battery type

2 x 1.4V

Life

3000 hr

Weight

90 g

La Sarre

Amos

100 km

25 km

RouynNoranda "

Val d'Or

0

25 50 kilometres

Ontario

Quebec

Belleterre

Figure 1. Distribution of sample sites within a 100 km radius of Rouyn–Noranda.

2

Figure 2. The Omega PHH-7X pen was used to determine the pH of samples in both field and laboratory measurements.

R.D. Knight et al.

For pH analyses in the field and in the laboratory, samples were processed using the methods outlined by Sheldrick (1984) and Thomas (1996). Samples were sieved to 2 mm to remove large roots or pebbles. Ten grams of air dried soil or humus was placed in a 250 mL glass beaker. Twenty millilitres of 0.01M calcium chloride (CaCl2 ) was decanted into the beaker containing the sample. If the sample absorbed the calcium chloride as is the case for most humus samples, an

additional 20 mL of CaCl2 was added. If the second 20 mL of calcium chloride was absorbed, as it was for most humus samples after six month storage, distilled water was added in increments of 10 mL until a liquid paste formed. The sample and solution was mixed with a glass stirring rod four times over a 30 minute period. The samples were then left to settle for 30 minutes.

Table 3. Measured pH values taken at time of collection and at one, two, and six months. Mineral soil in the ‘parent material’ column represents samples collected from soils formed over till and sandy sediments whereas clay represents soils formed over either massive or varved lacustrine silt and clay. Humus Sample number

Field

A-horizon

1 2 6 month months months

Field

B-horizon

1 2 6 month months months

Field

C-horizon

1 2 6 month months months

Field

1 2 6 month months months Parent material

98-HJB-5001

3.10

4.67

3.50

3.54

4.53

4.58

4.75

4.77

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5002

4.40

4.39

3.77

3.80

4.75

4.85

4.75

4.79

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5003

3.27

4.18

4.68

4.89

4.60

4.82

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5004

3.05

3.72

3.40

3.63

4.52

4.66

5.06

4.75

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5005

3.45

4.26

3.59

3.52

4.43

4.25

4.51

4.45

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5006

3.45

4.12

3.09

3.30

4.73

4.83

4.92

4.94

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5007

4.06

4.97

3.88

4.11

4.15

4.32

4.58

4.59

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5008

4.20

4.58

3.90

4.29

4.25

4.72

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5009

3.50

4.37

4.54

4.45

4.65

4.68

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5010

3.88

4.37

4.30

4.33

4.54

4.68

Clay

98-HJB-5011

4.27

4.58

3.74

3.73

4.10

4.32

Clay

98-HJB-5012

4.56

4.90

4.46

4.83

Clay

98-HJB-5013

3.10

4.28

3.44

98-HJB-5014

5.34

5.23

98-HJB-5015

3.84

5.23

98-HJB-5016

5.23

98-HJB-5017

3.77

3.57

3.78

4.61

4.30

4.68

4.99

4.97

5.17

Mineral soil

5.85

4.52

4.50

4.67

4.61

4.58

4.79

Mineral soil

3.96

4.27

4.25

4.27

4.55

4.43

4.41

Mineral soil

4.98

5.18

4.41

4.01

4.39

4.53

4.31

4.45

Mineral soil

3.66

3.98

4.71

3.51

3.83

4.12

4.40

4.27

4.56

Clay

98-HJB-5018

2.92

2.83

3.02

3.30

4.40

4.69

4.69

4.48

4.98

Clay

98-HJB-5019

4.21

4.38

5.11

4.33

4.00

4.29

4.55

4.68

5.17

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5020

3.91

4.28

4.71

3.50

3.26

3.62

4.45

4.05

4.42

Clay

98-HJB-5021

3.25

3.17

3.62

4.20

3.96

4.15

4.32

4.18

4.34

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5022

3.43

3.17

4.60

4.24

3.69

3.96

4.25

4.12

4.40

Clay

98-HJB-5023

2.81

3.55

4.12

3.81

4.16

4.50

4.23

4.59

Mineral soil

4.90

4.66

5.09

Mineral soil

4.66

3.45

3.14

3.61

3.23

98-HJB-5023-C2 98-HJB-5024

2.88

3.73

3.37

3.18

3.57

4.06

3.89

4.31

4.46

4.67

5.14

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5025

2.94

98-HJB-5026

3.64

3.00

3.37

3.88

3.64

3.85

5.20

4.81

4.98

4.53

4.51

4.93

Mineral soil

3.79

4.27

4.00

4.00

4.13

4.59

4.50

4.80

98-HJB-5027

Clay

3.63

4.12

4.65

3.71

3.68

3.92

4.33

4.18

4.73

4.57

4.51

4.85

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5028

2.71

3.22

3.52

3.02

3.02

3.10

4.36

4.27

4.48

4.84

4.72

4.90

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5029

3.56

3.50

3.70

4.13

3.99

4.11

98-HJB-5030

5.32

5.30

5.81

5.36

5.24

5.63

4.89

5.43

5.79

98-HJB-5031

4.34

4.75

4.20

3.99

4.15

4.18

4.17

4.35

Clay

98-HJB-5032

3.36

3.42

4.07

3.62

3.48

3.67

5.56

5.40

5.34

Clay

98-HJB-5033

3.67

3.78

4.45

5.01

4.47

4.82

5.54

4.95

5.26

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5034

3.12

3.32

4.73

3.90

3.40

3.68

4.57

4.14

4.33

5.15

4.73

5.15

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5035

3.02

3.02

3.28

4.40

3.69

3.71

4.70

3.89

4.19

5.00

4.51

4.78

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5036

3.22

3.20

3.80

4.03

3.99

4.28

4.46

4.30

4.57

Clay

98-HJB-5037

2.66

2.85

3.30

4.27

4.28

4.26

4.57

4.50

4.68

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5038

4.64

4.70

5.13

6.88

6.87

6.69

98-HJB-5039

4.29

98-HJB-5040

4.07

98-HJB-5041

3.47

4.05

98-HJB-5042

3.85

5.33

98-HJB-5043

4.51

98-HJB-5044 98-HJB-5045

3.63

3.39

3.55

98-HJB-5037-B2

98-HJB-5046

4.41

4.44

4.64

4.68

4.33

4.56

4.32 4.04

Mineral soil

Mineral soil 5.86

4.51

4.57

Clay

4.83

Mineral soil

4.87

4.33

4.37

4.69

4.76

Mineral soil

4.28

4.16

4.91

4.43

Clay

5.56

5.17

4.67

Clay

4.79

5.81

6.40

5.16

Clay

3.95

4.74

3.81

4.47

Clay

6.85

4.67

3.92

4.39

Clay

3.70

3.92

4.55

4.61

Clay

5.57

5.25

5.05

4.70

Clay

3

Current Research 2000-C24

The pH was measured using an Omega® PHH-7X pH pen (Fig. 2). Specifications for the PHH-7X pen are listed in Table 2. For each sample pH was measured by immersing the tip of the pH meter electrode in the CaCl2 just above the sediment-solution interface (Fig. 2). Approximately ten to fifteen samples were measured each evening during field collection and the equivalent number at the corresponding one, two, and six month period. The pH meter was calibrated prior to and after each measurement session using 4.0, 7.0, and 10.0 pH buffer solutions.

RESULTS Data from the pH measurement of humus and mineral soils acquired the day of sample collection, and at one, two, and six months afterwards are listed in Table 3 along with the parent material of the soil. In this table, the “field” column represents the pH of the sample as determined at time of collection. The data is displayed as bivariate plots in Figure 3, with

Table 3. (cont.) Humus

A-horizon

B-horizon Field

98-HJB-5047

5.00

5.34

6.04

4.78

5.33

5.61

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5048

4.50

5.35

5.82

5.96

5.24

5.58

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5049

4.90

5.74

4.65

4.75

5.07

5.55

Clay

98-HJB-5050

4.29

5.25

4.62

4.29

4.43

4.87

Clay

98-HJB-5051

4.23

4.97

4.55

4.89

4.58

5.15

Clay

6.47

6.34

Clay

4.33

Clay

Field

Field

1 2 6 month months months

C-horizon 1 2 6 month months months Parent material

Sample number

1 2 6 month months months

Field

1 2 6 month months months

98-HJB-5051-C2 98-HJB-5052

3.03

3.79

98-HJB-5053

2.84

4.14

98-HJB-5054

4.22

5.25

98-HJB-5055

2.86

3.23

98-HJB-5056

3.70

98-HJB-5057

4.87

98-HJB-5058

3.79

3.30

3.68

3.92

4.14

4.13 4.14

4.52

Clay

3.82

3.92

6.12

6.24

Clay

98-HJB-5052-C2 4.26

4.31

4.30

5.11

Clay

4.31

4.29

4.44

4.65

Mineral soil

4.92

4.19

4.35

4.64

5.17

Clay

4.88

4.38

4.29

4.91

5.23

Clay

4.35

5.68

5.65

5.41

5.77

Mineral soil

4.37

4.48

4.85

5.14

Mineral soil

4.19

4.30

4.70

5.15

Mineral soil

3.57

3.69

98-HJB-5059 98-HJB-5060

3.12

3.79

98-HJB-5061

3.43

3.82

4.56

4.91

4.91

5.53

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5062

4.24

5.01

4.43

4.10

5.55

5.48

Clay

98-HJB-5063

5.39

5.47

5.15

5.44

5.91

6.15

Clay

98-HJB-5064

3.20

4.01

5.22

5.20

5.03

5.44

Mineral soil

98-HJB-5065

4.02

4.93

4.21

4.27

4.51

5.44

Clay

98-HJB-5066

2.84

3.14

6.04

4.69

Clay

98-HJB-5067

4.92

5.25

5.25

5.43

4.78

4.66

Clay

98-HJB-5068

4.10

5.02

98-HJB-5069

4.70

5.30

98-HJB-5070

4.80

5.47

98-HJB-5071

4.70

4.80

98-HJB-5072

5.04

5.79

98-HJB-5073

4.11

5.25

4.98

98-HJB-5074

3.39

3.73

5.41

98-HJB-5075

4.19

4.96

4.69

98-HJB-5076

4.15

4.09

4.60

98-HJB-5077

4.85

5.20

98-HJB-5078

5.66

5.19

98-HJB-5079

3.80

3.38

4.01

98-HJB-5080

3.56

4.98

4.65

4.45

5.48

98-HJB-5081

4.29

4.28

4.69

5.54

4.73

4.50

98-HJB-5082

5.08

5.48

3.32

3.60

4.40

4.17

98-HJB-5067-C2

5.20

5.61

Clay

5.18

5.08

4.23

5.01

6.05

6.06

Mineral soil

5.63

6.25

Clay

3.64

3.88

4.66

4.75

5.82

5.34

Mineral soil

4.20

4.16

7.40

6.83

Clay

4.59

4.96

Clay

5.30

7.46

6.90

Clay

5.26

4.95

6.08

6.28

6.44

Clay

4.91

5.09

4.91

4.81

5.18

Mineral soil

3.89

4.02

4.20

4.99

5.16

5.22

Clay

6.14

4.35

4.78

4.44

4.28

4.47

4.79

Clay

5.64

5.06

5.30

4.41

5.64

5.53

5.19

Clay

4.36

4.49

4.01

4.91

4.63

4.50

Mineral soil

5.30

Mineral soil

4.57

4.75

Clay

4.25

4.00

4.23

4.88

4.57

5.37

5.40

Clay

98-HJB-6001

5.05

4.31

5.15

5.36

Clay

98-HJB-6002

4.33

4.40

5.48

5.41

Clay

98-HJB-6003

4.57

4.55

98-HJB-6004

4.41

4.52

98-HJB-6005

4.29

4.35

98-HJB-6006

4.32

4.45

98-HJB-6007

4.59

4.68

98-HJB-6008

4.27

4.41

4.80

4.60

Clay

98-HJB-6009

4.39

4.39

4.63

4.45

Clay

4

Clay Clay 5.43

4.75

Clay Clay Clay

R.D. Knight et al. 8

8

A- horizon

Humus

1 month

1 month

pH at 1, 2, and 6 months

7

7

2 months

2 months 6 months

6 months

6

6

5

5

4

4

3

3

2

2 2

3

4

5

6

7

2

8

8

4

5

6

7

8

5

6

7

8

C- horizon

B- horizon

1 month

1 month 7

7

2 months

2 months 6 months

6 months

pH at 1, 2, and 6 months

3

8

6

6

5

5

4

4

3

3

2

2 2

3

4

5

6

7

8

2

3

pH at sample collection

4

pH at sample collection

Figure 3. Plots showing pH of humus and soil at sample collection versus pH at one, two, and six months after sample collection. derived statistics including mean difference, degrees of freedom (sample count - 1), t-values, and P-values listed in Table 4.

Humus Humus displays the most significant change in pH between measurements taken at sample collection and laboratory determination (Fig. 3). At one month after sample collection, the pH was more acidic by a mean difference of 0.12, and after two months the pH was less acidic by a mean difference of 0.18 (Table 4). Both these values are within the accuracy of the pH meter (±0.2, Table 2). Therefore, there is little to no change in pH over this period. However after six months, the pH of 80 samples was less acidic by a mean difference of 0.65. A t-value of -15 and a low P-value (Table 4) indicate a consistent trend to decreasing acidity for humus samples measured in the laboratory after six months of storage.

A-horizon Few A-horizon soils were sampled in comparison to the other soil horizons or humus (Table 1). Although there is not enough data at one month to draw any conclusions, the measurements at two months, a mean difference in pH of 0.39, indicates that the sample is more acidic than at sample collection. At six months the pH is similar to the value measured at sample collection.

B-horizon After one month of sample storage, pH is less acidic by a mean difference of 0.18, and at two months pH is more acidic by a mean difference of 0.17. Both values are within the determination error of the pH meter (Table 2). At six months the field and lab determinations are similar (Fig. 3, Table 4). Therefore, there is little to no change in pH measured in the field or in the laboratory at one, two, or six months.

5

Current Research 2000-C24

Table 4. Statistics on results of measurements. Mean difference, degrees of freedom, t-values, and P-values. Mean Degrees of difference freedom

Table 5. Statistics for pH of the total population and for the populations represented by mineral soils and clay. Standard Mean

t-value

P-value

deviation

Count

Minimum

Maximum

Humus total

3.93

0.75

80

2.66

5.66

Humus

Clay

4.20

0.71

41

2.84

5.66

1 month

.122

4

.814

.4612

Mineral soil

3.65

0.69

39

2.66

5.34

2 months

-.181

23

-2.242

.0349

A-horizon total

3.78

0.50

24

3.02

5.18

6 months

-.649

79

-15.074